syllabus 380-2008 - Philosophy 380 N: Current Controversies...

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Philosophy 380 N: Current Controversies Normativity and Community Dr. Erica L. Neely Spring 2008 Place and Time: 217 Gregory Hall, TR 2:30-3:50 Email address: [email protected] Office Location and Hours: 105 I Gregory Hall; TR 12-1 p.m. and by appointment See note about office at end of syllabus Office Phone: 333-4677 Text: Philosophy 380 Course Packet (available at Notes and Quotes) Note: I am DRES and ESL friendly. If you need accommodation or are having trouble keeping up in class because of language-issues, please drop me an email or come to see me. I’m happy to help. Aims and Objectives This course looks at communities from a value-theoretic standpoint, drawing on readings by both classical and contemporary philosophers. We will begin by asking what it takes to be a member of a community in general and, in particular, to be a member of our moral community. Do we extend membership (and thus ethical consideration) to people in our nation? To all humans? To all animals? We explore the boundaries of our community through readings about nationalism, race theory, animal rights, and personhood. We then consider two ways in which questions of normativity arise in conjunction with being a member of a community. In the second section we address first whether communities are necessary – is the human condition such that we cannot avoid forming some kind of communal bonds? We then ask whether communities have intrinsic value; is there value simply in being a member of a community? Furthermore, what happens if an individual’s needs conflict with those of the community – which takes precedence? Are there some rights that a society cannot take away from an individual? We also examine how extensive a society’s right to regulate individual behavior is, particularly with regard to the question of drug addiction; is this a personal choice or something which a society legitimately can regulate? In the third section we address a different kind of relation between community and value, namely, to
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 380 taught by Professor Ericaneely during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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syllabus 380-2008 - Philosophy 380 N: Current Controversies...

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